>Pete Tribulski wrote:
>>  > One of our primary tenets is "no beta software should be included in
>>>  production applications".
>This is a problem statement for any open source software. Although a 
>particular version may be called a "release" in Open Source circles 
>this usually does mean that it is still beta software. Open Source 
>software is usually tested by the users. The principle of "release 
>often" means that there is usually little time spent on testing 
>before a release.

There is another way of looking at it.

Commercial software, such as MS Word, is often pushed out the
door before before it is ready. (See the early chapters of Brooks'
best known work, "The Mythical Man-Month"). In MS case this is
because MS Word is a cash cow, and that company would have problems if
it ceased to give milk. In short, the General Public become paying
Beta testers. In the case of OS Software, developers are often
much more parsimonious with version numbers and a release can have
a beta or pre- number literally until it is ready.

There are a number of issues here though.

I would rate FOP as DR (developer release) id est not yet
alpha. IMHO, alpha software is essentially feature complete but may
(and likely does) have significant bugs or deficiencies.
Beta software should have no uncontrolled problems, and
is ready to be considered release candidate after testing.

Look at the trouble that Linux is having with the latest kernel,
which is now a year old and is still beta.

In the case of FOP, a further problem is that it can never
be any better than Java platform you plan to run it on.

Whilst I would also be unhappy to run beta software on production
system, you might be able to shade this a little in the case
of OS Software.

1. It is of inherently high standard (TeX, Samba, Apache)
2. You have the source
3. You can take an active role in the development debugging
    and documentation of those features that interest you.

If you feel that these do not apply to your situation, then
you may have to defer moving to OS - there is no shame in
letting someone else have the exhilaration (and maybe pain)
of discovering the few remaining bugs.


P.S. My system needs either keep-together or keep-with-next,
and I would be happy to help with this, but I am running MacOS
9 and FOP 0.14.

Feature request: Unless the FO spec is dead against it, could
we have the equivalent of <BR> or shift-return to end a line
early, but without starting a new paragraph. We used to be able
to do this in WordPerfect.

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